When to Do Yoga Nidra: The Best Time to Practice Yoga for Sleep

clear hour glass with brown frame. when to do yoga nidra

When to Do Yoga Nidra?

Yoga Nidra is said to be one of the most restful states possible, and provides numerous benefits such as reducing stress and anxiety, improving sleep quality, and promoting overall well-being.

While there is no wrong time to practice this type of yoga, many people find it helpful to do Yoga Nidra before bedtime in order to promote better sleep.

Yoga Nidra is a practice that can be done at any time of day or night, but there are certain times when it may be more beneficial.

So when is the best time to do Yoga Nidra? Here is my experience.

When is the best time to practice yoga nidra?

Timing is an important aspect to consider when practicing yoga nidra for optimal sleep benefits. While the best time to practice is Brahmamuhurtha, a time window beginning at 03:40 and ending at 04:28, you can practice yoga nidra at any time of the day that suits your schedule and comfort level, except right after eating. It is recommended to wait for at least two hours after eating before practicing to avoid being overwhelmed by sleepiness.

Many people prefer to practice in the evening to prepare for sleep, while others find it helpful to practice in the morning or midday to relieve stress and increase focus.

Practicing at the same time every day can help establish a routine and maximize the benefits of yoga nidra. It is important to listen to your body and adjust the practice to suit your individual needs and preferences.

My advice is that the most critical factor is that your chosen time fits into your life rhythm.

When to do Yoga Nidra?

It’s important to note that Yoga Nidra can be practiced at any time of day, and the benefits may vary depending on the individual and their specific needs. Some people may find that practicing Yoga Nidra in the morning helps them to start the day feeling energized and focused, while others may prefer to practice before bed to promote restful sleep.

Practice TimeBenefits
MorningPromotes wakefulness and energy
AfternoonHelps to reduce stress and anxiety
EveningPromotes restful sleep and relaxation
Before BedtimeHelps to improve sleep quality and reduce insomnia
During PregnancyHelps to reduce stress and promote relaxation
During RecoveryCan aid in healing and reduce pain
During Times of Grief or LossCan help to promote emotional healing and ease feelings of sadness and depression
During Times of Change or TransitionCan help to reduce anxiety and promote inner peace
When to do Yoga Nidra?

How can I incorporate Yoga Nidra into my daily practice?

Yoga Nidra is an accessible and beneficial practice that can easily be incorporated into daily life. To begin, find a quiet and comfortable space to lie down on a yoga mat or blanket with a bolster or pillow supporting your lower back, spine, and head. You can even put a blanket or pillow under your knees. Set aside a specific time each day or week for your sessions to create a consistent routine. The best time to practice Yoga Nidra is in the morning or before bed, as it can help with better sleep and overall well-being.

when to do yoga nidra. woman meditating on floor with overlooking view of trees

Once you are settled, follow a well established script with the 10 stages of a Yoga Nidra practice: connect to your heart’s deepest desire, set an intention, find your inner resource, scan your body, become aware of your breath, welcome your feelings, witness your thoughts, experience joy, observe your “self,” and reflect on your practice.

The ideal duration for a Yoga Nidra practice is 20-45 minutes, but even a short 10-minute session can be beneficial. Aim to practice regularly, at least three to four times per week, to fully experience the benefits of Yoga Nidra.

Yoga studios offer Yoga Nidra classes, but you can also practice at home using YouTube or a meditation app. Remember to take a few minutes to transition back into the waking state of life after your session. With consistent practice, Yoga Nidra can help reduce tension, ease anxiety, and improve overall well-being.

group of people doing yoga nidra

Can you do yoga nidra in bed?

Yes, it is possible to practice Yoga Nidra in bed as long as the environment is conducive to relaxation and meditation. It is important to create a comfortable space that is free from distractions.

It is recommended to dim the lights and play calming music or white noise to enhance the experience. By optimizing their sleeping space, practitioners can fully immerse themselves in the practice and reap the benefits of deep relaxation and improved sleep.

Trust me you will get the required Zzz’s (see why zzz means sleep).

Can i do yoga nidra right before sleep?

Yes, it is recommended to practice Yoga Nidra before sleep. Doing so can help you relax and bring peace to the body, leading to a more restorative and deep sleep. However, it’s important to note that the goal of yogic sleep is to remain alert and awake, so it’s best to practice it earlier in the evening before you become too tired.

Practicing Yoga Nidra during the day can also improve your sleep, and you can even use it as a catnap during your lunch break. It’s important to cultivate self-study and decide what you need, so if you’re feeling restless or move too much during sleep, you might want to do some asanas before practicing Yoga Nidra.

Incorporating Yoga Nidra into your bedtime routine can help you relax and get a better night’s sleep.

Can yoga nidra help you fall asleep?

Yoga nidra is a relaxation practice that can help you fall asleep faster. It reduces activity in the sympathetic nervous system, making it easier to sleep. It is beneficial for people of any age and ability who suffer from insomnia, anxiety, general stress, or discomfort.

The practice moves away from the fight and flight side of the nervous system to the rest and digest side, reducing the activity of the mind and balancing the right and left hemispheres of the brain, bringing it into a state of coherence.

Practicing yoga nidra in the evening can positively impact your night sleep no matter what time of day you practice. It can also act as a natural sleeping pill if you do it lying in bed. If you keep falling asleep, it is normal, especially if you practice it regularly. In my experience many people fall asleep easily during Yoga Nidra or at least come very close to drifting off.

What to do after yoga nidra?

After practicing Yoga Nidra, it’s important to take a few moments to ease back into your daily routine while still maintaining the benefits of the practice.

  • Take some time to reflect on your experience and integrate any insights gained during the practice.
  • Set intentions for the day ahead and carry the calm and peaceful mindset with you.
  • To transition out of the deep relaxation state, try gentle stretches or movements such as a seated forward fold or gentle twists.
  • Take a few deep breaths and slowly open your eyes.
  • Avoid jumping up and rushing back into your day.
  • Instead, take a few moments to sit quietly and allow the benefits of the practice to linger.

Remember, the benefits of Yoga Nidra extend beyond the practice itself and can positively impact your entire day.

Can you do yoga nidra in the morning?

Yes, yoga nidra can be practiced in the morning. In fact, practicing yoga nidra in the morning can clear your mind and help you make better decisions, especially if you wake up with an overactive and anxious brain. While yoga nidra induces a sleep-like state, it can serve as a morning power nap, helping you feel well-rested for the day ahead.

However, it’s not the most energizing way to begin your day, and it’s not recommended right after eating because you will be more likely to fall asleep.

Some tips for practicing yoga nidra in the morning include using a yoga eye pillow or weighted eye mask to block out bright morning light and avoiding practicing right after eating.

How often should i do yoga nidra?

To obtain sleep benefits from Yoga Nidra, it is recommended to practice regularly. Consistent daily practice is key for reaping greater benefits. Beginners can start with 15-20 minute sessions and work their way up gradually several times per week.

It’s best to do Yoga Nidra in the evening as it brings deep rest and calmness. If you struggle with staying awake, try setting a strong intention and doing a physical asana practice beforehand. Don’t give up if you struggle at first, it will get better with regular practice.


What are the benefits of practicing Yoga Nidra?

Yoga Nidra is a powerful practice that offers numerous benefits for the mind and body. Here are some of the main benefits of practicing Yoga Nidra:

  1. Reduces stress and anxiety: Yoga Nidra helps to calm the nervous system, resulting in reduced stress and anxiety levels. It also helps to manage negative emotions and stress-related conditions like PTSD and chronic pain.
  2. Improves well-being: Practicing Yoga Nidra increases self-awareness and helps you become more in touch with your body, leading to a sense of confidence and improved well-being.
  3. Deep relaxation: Yoga Nidra encourages a level of deep rest that is not seen in traditional meditation, resulting in instant relaxation and lasting effects on mental state – see more about Yoga Nidra vs Meditation.
  4. Personal growth: Yoga Nidra can lead to deep reflections that help solve personal challenges and increase one’s sense of purpose in the world.
  5. Better sleep: Practicing Yoga Nidra before bedtime can help people of any age and ability relax and release tension, leading to better sleep quality and quantity.

In conclusion, practicing Yoga Nidra even for a short period can be a form of self-care that improves overall health and well-being. With regular practice, the benefits of Yoga Nidra can be even more profound.

What should I prepare before a Yoga Nidra session?

Before a Yoga Nidra session, practitioners should prepare their space to ensure it is calming and cozy, especially if the goal is to sleep. This can be done by

  • covering oneself with a light blanket to keep warm,
  • playing gentle music or white noise
  • using guided recordings for clear instructions and visualizations.
  • approach each session with patience and curiosity,
  • create a supportive environment by sharing the practice with others.
  • follow a structured organization that includes connecting to their heart’s deepest desire, setting an intention,
  • scanning your body,
  • becoming aware of your breath,
  • welcoming your feelings,
  • witnessing your thoughts.

What are some common poses used in Yoga Nidra?

It is very simple as generally only Savasana or corpse pose is used, where practitioners lie on their backs with their arms resting by their sides and eyes closed. No other traditional yoga poses are used in Yoga Nidra. The focus is on inducing deep relaxation through breath awareness, body scans, and guided imagery.

Props like blankets, bolsters, or pillows may be used for added comfort. You also try to sleep with a weighted blanket all night long after the session to improve benefits.

Can Yoga Nidra help with insomnia or other sleeping disorders?

Yoga Nidra is an effective practice to help with insomnia or other sleeping disorders. It works by slowing the wavelengths of the mind and inducing a state of relaxation through meditative guidance and mindful breathing techniques. Scientific studies have shown that Yoga Nidra can improve heart rate variability, shift the nervous system towards rest and digest mode, ease symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder, manage psychosomatic diseases, and even affect blood glucose levels in diabetic patients.

Practicing 30 minutes of Yoga Nidra every day can help unwind from daily stress, relax muscles, and build a healthy sleeping pattern. For those struggling with insomnia or other sleeping disorders, incorporating Yoga Nidra into a sleep routine can be a game-changer.

How long should a Yoga Nidra session be?

Yoga Nidra sessions can last anywhere between 15 minutes to an hour, depending on personal factors such as experience and availability. However, the length of the session is entirely up to the practitioner. It is recommended to start with shorter sessions, about 5 to 10 minutes, before gradually increasing the duration to 40 minutes or longer. See how long do monks meditate for more information on a day in a monks life.

There is no time limit for Yoga Nidra sessions, and practitioners should come out of it naturally. As a rule of thumb, half an hour of Yoga Nidra is “equal” to three hours of sleep, but doing yoga nidra is not equal to sleeping.

Should yoga nidra be done before or after yoga?

According to Yoga teachers, it is recommended to keep sufficient time for yoga nidra after yoga postures. Our body becomes warm while doing yoga postures, and we need to cool our body with yoga nidra before moving off the yoga mat. Therefore, it is better to do yoga postures before yoga nidra. Doing yoga nidra immediately after lunch is not advisable as it might lead to sleep instead of yoga.

Chanting in yoga nidra

In yoga, chanting is often used as a tool to create a meditative state of mind and promote relaxation. It can be used at the beginning or end of a yoga practice, as well as during meditation or breathing exercises. Chanting is also sometimes incorporated into yoga classes as a way to connect with the group and create a sense of community.

Chanting is also an important aspect of many yogic traditions, particularly in the practice of Bhakti Yoga and Hatha Yoga, which is focused on devotion and worship of a particular deity or spiritual energy.

Chanting can be a powerful tool to enhance the experience as Yoga Nidra is said to origonating from the 8th limb of Yoga which is about finding the divine source and calmness. While it is not required for the practice, many people find that chanting can help them relax more deeply and enter a meditative state more easily.

There are many different chants that can be used during Yoga Nidra. Some common chants can be used during Yoga Nidra include:

  1. Om (Aum): This is a sacred sound in Hinduism, Buddhism, and other spiritual traditions.
  2. So Hum: This chant means “I am that” in Sanskrit and is often used to help cultivate a sense of unity and connection with the world around us.
  3. Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu: This chant means “May all beings everywhere be happy and free, and may the thoughts, words, and actions of my own life contribute in some way to that happiness and to that freedom for all.” It is often used to cultivate feelings of compassion and goodwill.
  4. Gayatri Mantra: This is a powerful Hindu mantra that is believed to bring wisdom, peace, and happiness to those who chant it. It is often used as a tool for spiritual growth and self-realization.
  5. White noise: Listening to white noise during meditation is a common practice but it is a bit “too modern” for me.

My experience: Try to do Yoga Nidra during Brahma Muhurta and start with chanting a Brahma muhurta mantra! When incorporating chanting into your Yoga Nidra practice, it can be helpful to choose a chant that resonates with you and repeat it softly or silently to yourself as you relax and let go of tension in your body and mind.


By lezt

Lez Taylor, Founder and CEO of Corala Blanket. She tried every sleep system and trick to conquer her insomnia for good.